Chicago on the Brink

I never thought I’d say this: but I think I support Rahm Emmanuel:

The head of Chicago’s school board called talks Saturday “productive” but said no agreement has been reached yet to avert a looming teachers strike.

“We’ve got parents and children who are wondering what’s going to happen to them Monday morning,” David Vitale, president of the Chicago Board of Education, told reporters Saturday night. “We have an obligation to them to tell them what’s going to happen. And we really want to get this work done.”

Teachers and support staff in the nation’s third-largest public school school system set a walkout date for Monday, which would mark the first time they have gone on strike in 25 years.
If a strike happens, it would affect nearly 700 schools and about 400,000 students, including some from neighborhoods struggling with crime and gang problems.

What are the issues? The media seem to be evading the hard numbers. Here’s Fox News:

The district offered a cost-of-living raise of 2 percent a year for four years, which the union said was unacceptable — especially after Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year canceled a previously negotiated 4 percent raise, citing budget problems. A school district spokeswoman has said that raise will not be made up and the district will not address it in negotiations. The union has lowered the amount it’s asking for, but has not said what its counterproposal is now. Only weeks ago, it sought a 19 percent raise in the first year of the contract.

The union also is concerned about raises based on teacher experience and education. It has said the district agreed to retain language allowing raises based on experience, called step increases, but it would not actually pay the money now. Keeping the language in the contract, though, could be important for teachers in future negotiations.

Teachers also are concerned about new teacher evaluations, health benefits and how a longer school day for students is being implemented.

Another big issue is that Emmanuel is extending the school day by 90 minutes. He has compromised on rehiring 500 teachers so that teachers will not have to work more, even if students do. I find longer school days a dubious proposition at best but Emmanuel is at least offering a rise and more hires in exchange.

Keep in mind the situation we’re dealing with, however. The nation is in a slow recovery with yet another disappointing jobs report released on Friday. Wages are falling. There are tens of millions of people in this country who would mud-wrestle Michael Moore to get a guaranteed 2% per year raise for four years.

Keep this in mind, too: Illinois currently has unfunded healthcare and retirement liabilities equal to over $3,000 for every man, woman and child in the state. They are quickly going bankrupt on the commitments they have made to public employees.

This is the hard reality Rahm Emmanuel has found himself in. And that fiscal reality is not going to change. I just hope the kids don’t get hurt in the crossfire.

(Aside: the union has its headquarters in Merchandise Mart. That’s the same Merchandise Mart that the Kennedys use to own. Only they owned it through a trust based in Fiji so that they didn’t pay any inheritance tax on it. And they have the nerve to criticize Romney.)

(Second aside: Sal 11000 Beta started kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. She’s at a public school — indeed, one of the reasons we moved here was for the great public schools. I’m very happy with her teachers and the school in general. I think they should be compensated well. But I also understand that we don’t have unlimited tax revenues. There’s a balance to be struck. And Emmanuel, it seems, is finally trying to find it.)

Comments are closed.

  1. HARLEY

    If Rham wants to run for Governor here in a few years , he better get the best deal he can for the teachers unions, they will hold that over him when the primaries come around.

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    The nation is in a slow recovery

    with yet another disappointing jobs report released on Friday.

    Wages are falling.

    There are tens of millions of people in this country who would mud-wrestle Michael Moore to get a guaranteed 2% per year raise for four years.

    One of these statements is not like the others

    OTOH there is a bitter-sweet joy in watching both “tiny dancer” Rahm and the teachers union look soiled in this encounter.
    Although I found your ” I just hope the kids don’t get hurt in the crossfire.” comment quite saccharine and reminiscent of the left’s cry of “It’s for the Children”

    Crush the union, annihilate Emmanuel’s political aspirations and …

    Vouchers Vouchers Vouchers!

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  3. Mississippi Yankee

    From your article:

    The fastest growing low-wage jobs include retail salespeople, food prep workers, laborers and freight workers, waiters and waitresses, personal and home care aides, office clerks and customers representatives.

    All this shows is that adults are doing the jobs that have always been entry level job. Traditionally held by high-schoolers. Teens that learned responsibility and money management from the ground up.

    My contention is that we are not in any sort of a recovery
    .But at least ‘our youth’ don’t have to give a thought to healthcare until their mid 20’s or even feeding themselves for the most part thanks to the Food Stamp pResident. This of course frees their minds to get those advanced degrees Womyn’s Studies, African Cultural Rights Studies and the all important “What Karl Marx Wanted for YOU!” Studies.

    Ammo up bitches! There ain’t gonna be A Recovery. The EU, it’s euro and the mid-east will see to that. But come January the battle lines should be a little more clearly defined”

    Romney-vs-Soros

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  4. CM

    My contention is that we are not in any sort of a recovery

    It’s a worry when the ‘jobs’ are all crap ones, where people aren’t going to be spending unless they go into debt. For a recovery to occur the middle class needs to spend money. If the middle class shrinks, and has less money overall ………..where is the demand going to come from?

    Ammo up bitches! There ain’t gonna be A Recovery. The EU, it’s euro and the mid-east will see to that. But come January the battle lines should be a little more clearly defined”

    Romney-vs-Soros

    I take it by that you think Romney is going to win?
    It’s not looking good at the moment, something drastic will need to go in his favour is the polls are to be believed. Obama is now up to +10 in approval ratings, his highest in a long long time.

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  5. Mississippi Yankee

    CM
    See there you go with the polls again, worthless data imo.

    Why do you believe he got a 10 point bounce in approval. Was it his stirring speech? Jennifer Granholm’s bat shit crazy rant? The War on Women? The party’s indecision on God and Israel?

    C’mon. Inquiring minds want to know. Not what think so much but does your poll results reflect what happening HERE in America or what you and much of the people like you would like the rest of us believe.

    Even for a master prevaricator like you, sighting a poll that gives Oblamebush a 10 point lead in anything is a desperate fear fueled cry. I look for a lot more of this from both you and them in the months to come.

    Did you know a poll taken between a sheep and 2 wolves about what they wanted for supper didn’t turn out so well either?

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    They’ve gone on strike as of this morning.

    CNN just published one of the dumbest articles I read in which a tenure-track professor says we need more strikes: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/10/opinion/rhomberg-unions-strikes/index.html

    I particularly like how he claims Regan summarily fired the air traffic controllers without mentioning that they had started an *illegal* strike action. Reagan was a union man; but he was also a believer in honoring contracts.

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  7. Xetrov

    It’s all about the appearance that Obama is going to destroy Romney. RCP average (which CM has used before and said because of it’s multi-poll influence is the poll he prefers) only has him up by 2 (basically within the margin of error). But that doesn’t fit the meme.

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  8. Jim

    Chicago should be the canary in the coal mine for the entire country. (Because we have thus far been ignoring Greece et al.)
    Chicago in specific and Illinois at large is what happens when you implement liberal policies for prolonged periods of time. The state *just* raised taxes and we *still* have a massive short fall. We are in the process of watching what happens when you allow public sector unions to have an incestuous relationship with politicians. The whole damn system is in the process of collapsing. As a resident of Illinois, I am sickened by the rampant corruption that Chicago allows to thrive. We got rid of Al Capone and simply put politics in his place.

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  9. Xetrov

    The strike is so much bullshit, demonstrating exactly what is wrong with Unions today. They turned down a guaranteed 16% pay raise over the next four years. 16% over four years, and they turn it down!? I won’t see that in the next eight years at my current job. And this when Chicago Teachers are already the highest paid on average in the country.

    Salary figures provided by the Chicago Public Schools show teachers here have the highest average salary of any city in the nation. But, according to the Chicago Teachers Union’s calculations, Chicago teachers would rank second behind New York City.

    A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said average pay for teachers, without benefits, is $76,000.

    On the teachers side, why is the city wanting to expand the school day by 90 minutes? Do students already spend 90 minutes less time than other school districts around the country? I’m not sure, can’t find figures on it. If they do spend less time in school, and the teachers already make the highest average salary in the country, then WTF? If they don’t, then when does the city hope to get out of those extra 90 minutes?

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  10. CM

    You guys are truly aweseome. But then it wouldn’t be Right-Thinking if you guys had actually read what I actually posted….

    An approval rating is entirely different to a lead.
    More specifically, I was referring to Gallup reporting a big jump in their three-day rolling average of Obama’s approval rating.

    In boldface is the post-DNC bump. This is quite notable: the last time the approval number went as high as 49% was June 9-11. This suggests that something happened to drive the numbers up suddenly on September 4th, the night of Michelle Obama’s speech.

    Is this even possible? Michelle Obama’s ratings were through the roof. Nielsen estimated the viewership at about 50 million people, outstripping the entire RNC convention. Her speech went viral in China, providing independent verification of her broad appeal. Could it be that a significant fraction of US viewers improved their opinion of Barack Obama after hearing her?

    From Sept. 4th to Sept. 5th-6th, a total swing of 16-17 points occurred. The United States has approximately 240 million citizens of voting age, so this means that a net 20 million people were flipped during that period. Evidently Michelle Obama was extremely persuasive, and maybe Bill Clinton too. But judging from the swing back on Sept. 7th, President Obama could not quite sustain the impact of the first two speakers.

    There’s a chance that the “unrolling” process did not get things quite right, and Obama’s boost was actually sustained. If the Gallup 3-day average approval comes down to 49% in today’s release, we’ll know that the bump was a short-lived one. We will find out soon.

    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/09/09/the-extremely-persuasive-michelle-obama/

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  11. Seattle Outcast

    It’s not looking good at the moment, something drastic will need to go in his favour is the polls are to be believed. Obama is now up to +10 in approval ratings, his highest in a long long time.

    Or as the professional statisticians like to say “fake data is fake”, or perhaps you prefer “garbage in, garbage out”…?

    CM, given a day I could come up with a poll where 80% of the responders agree that you said you’d fuck a porcupine in the ass next Sunday. About 99% of the polls you see at the moment are pure bullshit – it’s less than two months to go before the election, and the pollsters are being bought left and right to deliver predetermined results based on BS sampling techniques.

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  12. Kimpost

    Is that another conspiracy theory of yours, SO? I’m sure that pollsters make mistakes, but you think they are actually rigging the game?

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  13. Mississippi Yankee

    CM

    You guys are truly aweseome. But then it wouldn’t be Right-Thinking if you guys had actually read what I actually posted….

    An approval rating is entirely different to a lead.

    I read and factually acknowledged your “approval” poll.

    Why do you believe he got a 10 point bounce in approval.

    And because you did not leave one of your famous links in the original comment no one could guess which pollsters ass you pulled that figure from.

    Kimpost

    If I may answer for SO, in a word YES

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  14. CM

    Why do you believe he got a 10 point bounce in approval.

    Most likely it does reflect a very average GOP convention and much better Dem convention, and specifically probably Michelle Obama’s speech looking at the precise timing.

    I look for a lot more of this from both you and them in the months to come.

    As long as they keep me on the payroll. Right?! Right?!!

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  15. CM

    Did you know a poll taken between a sheep and 2 wolves about what they wanted for supper didn’t turn out so well either?

    Turned out pretty well in 2008.
    http://election.princeton.edu/2008/11/11/post-election-evaluation-part-2/

    Or as the professional statisticians like to say “fake data is fake”, or perhaps you prefer “garbage in, garbage out”…?

    CM, given a day I could come up with a poll where 80% of the responders agree that you said you’d fuck a porcupine in the ass next Sunday. About 99% of the polls you see at the moment are pure bullshit – it’s less than two months to go before the election, and the pollsters are being bought left and right to deliver predetermined results based on BS sampling techniques.

    You’re such a professional….

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  16. CM

    It’s all about the appearance that Obama is going to destroy Romney. RCP average (which CM has used before and said because of it’s multi-poll influence is the poll he prefers) only has him up by 2 (basically within the margin of error). But that doesn’t fit the meme.

    Up by 2 on a national level. The national level is close to meaningless. It’s the battleground states that matter – and Romney needs to win pretty much all of them. Which is increasingly difficult the closer we get to the election, if the polls are to be believed, as most of them show small but consistent leads for Obama. By election day they all have to reversed.
    One polling firm could get it wrong. One poll can be way out. But looking at a trend of polls over time, and looking at different polling companies – surely there’s got to be SOME degree of accuracy there. And if you don’t agree, what are YOU basing that on (which is so obviously better)?

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  17. Xetrov

    It’s the battleground states that matter

    Rasmussen’s swing-state tracker has Obama up by 1%.

    If it’s all about job approval (now at least, in some other thread you were posting RCP’s head to head between the two candidates), RCP has Obama’s approval spread at +1.8. The media by and large were claiming Bush couldn’t possibly win re-election because of his almost even approval rating in ’04. But now in 2012, the media is bullish on Obama.

    If it’s all about winning all of the swing states, Liberal pundits can put together maps that show Romney can’t possibly win. And Conservative pundits can put together maps that show how Romney can’t possibly lose.

    It’s all bullshit, and you should know it by now as long as you’ve been talking politics. The only poll that matters is the one on November 6th.

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  18. Kimpost

    I’ll begin by stating that I believe that it will be very close election, even when looking at the electoral college. The toss-up states are plentiful. However, what I think that CM is getting at is that Obama leads most of them, albeit narrowly, and that needs to change somewhere down the line.

    As it stands now, Obama must be regarded as the front-runner.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map_no_toss_ups.html

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  19. CM

    Rasmussen’s swing-state tracker has Obama up by 1%.

    As discussed previously, Rasmussen has a clear Republican bias. If they have Obama in front at all, that’s a bad sign for Romney.
    If none of the other polling companies don’t match that Gallup jump for Obama, then it was probably an anomaly..

    If it’s all about job approval (now at least, in some other thread you were posting RCP’s head to head between the two candidates),

    I most definintely did not say it’s “now all about job approval”. That’s ONE indicator in this election. Just as the head-to-head is.

    RCP has Obama’s approval spread at +1.8. The media by and large were claiming Bush couldn’t possibly win re-election because of his almost even approval rating in ’04. But now in 2012, the media is bullish on Obama.

    People who look at these things from a professional standpoint are also bullish on Obama.
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/
    http://electoral-vote.com/
    http://election.princeton.edu/

    If it’s all about winning all of the swing states, Liberal pundits can put together maps that show Romney can’t possibly win. And Conservative pundits can put together maps that show how Romney can’t possibly lose.

    I’ve seen nothing that says Obama can’t possibly lose.
    Can you point me to one which show that Romney can’t possibly lose?

    It’s all bullshit, and you should know it by now as long as you’ve been talking politics. The only poll that matters is the one on November 6th.

    Well yeah obviously. Doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting to follow and discuss the polling and predictions though, and the methodology and differences between them all, and how events change what they say. As I said previously, I love this shit.

    However, what I think that CM is getting at is that Obama leads most of them, albeit narrowly, and that needs to change somewhere down the line.

    As it stands now, Obama must be regarded as the front-runner.

    How dare you! Outrageous!

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  20. CM

    I like this one
    http://election.princeton.edu/electoral-college-map/
    If you click on the map it opens an interactive verson and you can click on states and change who wins each one and see what difference it makes to the EV total.

    Even if Romney wins Florida AND Ohio it still won’t be enough. He’ll need to also win Wisconsin, North Carolina, AND Virginia to win 276-262.
    But what are the chances that he wins all five of those? Yes, they’re all toss-ups, but when does one candidate in a race like this end up winning pretty much all the toss-ups? If the polls had see-sawed all over the place, it would be different story.
    Of course it could all change, but what would change it?
    It could all be wrong, but that’s unlikely. Otherwise they’d have been way out before.

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  21. Mississippi Yankee

    It would seem all but two pollsters got it wrong in 2008

    Loved their header, Texas on the Potoac,Washington news with a Texas accent

    The Pew Research Center and Rasmussen Reports were the most accurate in predicting the results of the 2008 election, according to a new analysis by Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos.

    The Fordham analysis ranks 23 survey research organizations on their final, national pre-election polls, as reported on pollster.com.

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  22. Seattle Outcast

    Is that another conspiracy theory of yours, SO? I’m sure that pollsters make mistakes, but you think they are actually rigging the game?

    Sometimes I wonder if you’re as stupid as you come across. Polls are generally meaningless little toys unless you are extremely careful in how they are designed and conducted.

    Do you actually bother to even read the poll data, or just look at the numbers when they go your way? Do you have a background in statistics? Are you even capable of knowing when a poll is bogus?

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  23. Xetrov

    If none of the other polling companies don’t match that Gallup jump for Obama, then it was probably an anomaly

    Or coercion. (apparently a pattern with them)

    As far as the meaningless of polls and “post-convention bounces”…After the conventions in 1980, Carter was up 4 points on Reagan, and he actually went up a few more points from there before the election…which definitely didn’t go Carter’s way. After the conventions in 1988, Dukakis was up 17 points on George H.W. Bush – 17 points. Tell me polls post-convention mean anything.

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  24. Seattle Outcast

    I’m going to sit back and wait for CM to comment on the breaking story that the poll he referenced has now been condemned for over-sampling democrats and under-sampling republicans and independents (if you want a “post convention bounce”, make sure you manufacture one to be released on schedule, right Obama?).

    Right next to that story is one of about an “unskewed’ poll that shows Obama trailing by 8 points that CM will pretend does not exist.

    So, how about it CM, since “polls” in your view apparently are always correct, how can two of them (one slammed for being a great example of GIGO) show essentially opposite data? Are they “both right”, or just the obviously flawed one that shows your preferred outcome? Do you want me to have that porcupine and some lube sent over?

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  25. CM

    Or coercion. (apparently a pattern with them)

    Yeah maybe.

    As far as the meaningless of polls and “post-convention bounces”…After the conventions in 1980, Carter was up 4 points on Reagan, and he actually went up a few more points from there before the election…which definitely didn’t go Carter’s way. After the conventions in 1988, Dukakis was up 17 points on George H.W. Bush – 17 points. Tell me polls post-convention mean anything.

    Either those polls were wrong, or things changed dramatically between then and the election. So?

    I’m going to sit back and wait for CM to comment on the breaking story that the poll he referenced has now been condemned for over-sampling democrats and under-sampling republicans and independents (if you want a “post convention bounce”, make sure you manufacture one to be released on schedule, right Obama?).

    Sit away. I qualified my comments in relation to that poll, no matter how much you and others go out of your way to try and make out I didn’t.

    Right next to that story is one of about an “unskewed’ poll that shows Obama trailing by 8 points that CM will pretend does not exist.

    Might help if you provide a link so I can see what I’m pretending didn’t exist.

    So, how about it CM, since “polls” in your view apparently are always correct, how can two of them (one slammed for being a great example of GIGO) show essentially opposite data? Are they “both right”, or just the obviously flawed one that shows your preferred outcome? Do you want me to have that porcupine and some lube sent over?

    Wow, what a dick. Where did I say “polls are always correct”?
    I hope people don’t pay money for you to be accurate.

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  26. CM

    So those criticisms were simply more drive-bys, huh. What a surprise.

    I’m going to sit back and wait for CM to comment on the breaking story that the poll he referenced has now been condemned for over-sampling democrats and under-sampling republicans and independents (if you want a “post convention bounce”, make sure you manufacture one to be released on schedule, right Obama?).

    Obama Favorable/Unfavorable

    RCP Average 8/20 – 9/11 — 51.2 44.0 +7.2
    FOX News 9/9 – 9/11 1056 LV 53 43 +10
    CNN/Opinion Research 9/7 – 9/9 709 LV 57 42 +15
    ABC News/Wash Post 9/5 – 9/9 837 RV 52 45 +7
    CBS News 8/22 – 8/26 1051 RV 41 44 -3
    USA Today/Gallup 8/20 – 8/22 1033 A 53 46 +7

    Romney Favorable/Unfavorable

    RCP Average 8/20 – 9/11 — 44.0 44.6 -0.6
    FOX News 9/9 – 9/11 1056 LV 49 45 +4
    CNN/Opinion Research 9/7 – 9/9 709 LV 48 47 +1
    ABC News/Wash Post 9/5 – 9/9 837 RV 44 49 -5
    CBS News 8/22 – 8/26 1051 RV 31 36 -5
    USA Today/Gallup 8/20 – 8/22 1033 A 48 46 +2

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/obama_romney_favorable_unfavorable.html

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  27. Seattle Outcast

    Wow, what a dick. Where did I say “polls are always correct”?

    You stand by every fucking poll that puts Obama ahead, even after it’s been trashed as statistically invalid. This is part of what makes you such a fucking douchebag.

    I’ll go get that porcupine for you, you never fail to waltz right into foot in mouth territory…

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  28. CM

    You stand by every fucking poll that puts Obama ahead, even after it’s been trashed as statistically invalid. This is part of what makes you such a fucking douchebag.

    You’re not even attempting to hide your blatant dishonesty now (at least that demonstrates a figment of honesty I guess, only ironically though). First I do no such thing, and second you’ve not shown anything to be statistically invalid. You’re just another one of those people who put up vague accusations and allegations and when called on them you can never deliver.

    I’ll go get that porcupine for you, you never fail to waltz right into foot in mouth territory…

    It must be nice and comfortable living in an alternate reality of your own making.

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